Friday, October 21, 2022

First Impressions: My Favorite Things About the iPhone 14 Pro Max

In my 10 days with the iPhone Pro Max, I've put the device through the paces for personal and business use. As expected, the device continues the steady path of upgrades that Apple has been known for.

-Wideband 5G access. I didn't even know this existed, but it's a game-changer from my previous 5G experience. Downloads are faster, videos almost never buffer and apps stall less. You'll need to make sure your carrier provides the service, or else you won't benefit. Xfinity Mobile didn't even tack on an extra monthly fee for the upgrade.

-The move to eSIM. The hassle of having to swap out SIM cards for new devices is gone. It's just a matter of verifying your identity and service, and then you're good to go. Hopefully other manufacturers follow the trend.

-The 48MP camera. Always a leader in the camera department, Apple once again leads the way with its new camera system. Taking gorgeous, crisp shots -- even in adverse conditions -- the camera system can make selfies and snapshots look as though they were taken by a pro. There are all sorts of presets available to help you optimize your shooting based on the conditions in which you find yourself.

-The battery life. Through a combination of a more robust battery and a slew of clever hacks that reduce battery usage throughout the day -- such as strategic screen-dimming and background app usage prioritization -- it's remarkable how long the device can go in between recharges. Whether the battery manages to maintain this sort of stamina over the long haul remains to be seen, but it's off to a remarkable start.

-The "Dynamic Island" interface. The new UI breaks down the barriers between the software and the internal functionality, giving you adaptive responses that emphasize important alerts and downplay those you tend to dismiss. This sort of thing is a long time coming, and it's impressive how much time and effort it manages to save you.

-The display. Working in concert with the advancements of iOS 16, the always-on display helps you keep an eye on things passively while getting things done. I tend to plop my phone on an induction charger as I work -- the need to do that is decidedly small with a device that packs battery life on this level -- and maintain it in my peripheral vision as I focus on my task at hand. Without the cumbersome need to unlock it, I can keep track of crucial notifications without averting my eyes.

-The gaming and streaming ability. I tended in the past to shy away from mobile gaming because of the way it torches my battery life. Likewise, I winced at the thought of watching an entire NFL game on my phone while out and about. Thanks to a combination of technology, interface maneuvering and execution of synergy among all working parts, the 14 Pro Max is something I can game on and watch video nearly ad infinitum. 

Those are my first impressions, and I look forward to providing more of my experiences going forward. Will check back in periodically as my iPhone 14 journey continues.

Apple sent loaner unit.

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